World News

Sunday 13 July 2014

Ukraine's leader warns West off

Published 19/12/2013|12:57

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A Ukrainian Orthodox Church priest holds a mass prayer during a pro-European Union rally in Kiev (AP)

Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovch has warned foreign governments against meddling in the country's internal affairs, in an apparent swipe at the West.

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Mr Yanukovych said it was unacceptable "for someone to be coming here and to be teaching us how to live".

The comments were apparently aimed at top Western diplomats who have recently visited and expressed support for the massive anti-government demonstrations that have rocked Kiev for nearly a month.

The comments in a televised interview came two days after Mr Yanukovych received a major bailout from Russia to keep the struggling Ukrainian economy afloat. The Moscow accords were condemned by the opposition as betrayal of national interests.

Earlier he said the government may partially commit to a Russian economic union that has been denounced in mass protests against the government.

He said the Cabinet is analysing which parts of the Moscow-led customs union Ukraine should join.

His statement was likely to anger the thousands of protesters who want him to reverse his pro-Moscow course and turn back toward integration with the European Union.

Mr Putin's major bailout package included a purchase of 15 billion dollars (£9.1bn) in Ukrainian bonds and a sharp discount for Russian natural gas.

AP

Press Association

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